|A model of the Treblinka camp at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum.|
Credit: Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times
Through examining how Israeli museums treat the Holocaust — including the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum here, in a kibbutz in the far north of the country, whose founders included survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising — we can see how visions of that past are changing, sometimes in unsettling ways.
One museum on another, smaller kibbutz, for example, was described in the newspaper Haaretz as “Warsaw-Ghetto Disneyland” for its new emphasis on sound and lighting effects, including a simulation of a cattle car heading to a death camp. The director of the museum at the Ghetto Fighters’ House said that it would increasingly emphasize the broadest lessons of the Holocaust: an “ethical imperative” of “tolerance” that could “influence Israeli society.” And when Yad Vashem in Jerusalem reworked its main exhibition in 2005 — creating the most powerful exposition of this history I have seen — it too modified its approach, with a new focus on feelings and individual stories. -- Eddward Rothstein, NY Times
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